This is a bit of a strange one - I've Googled it and come up with nothing, so writing it here instead.
It's my brother's and my 23rd birthday next week. Our first birthday since we lost our beautiful mummy. I'm also sad because we didn't get to see my mum on our 22nd birthday - she'd become jaundiced and was admitted to hospital up in London to have a stent fitted. Our 21st birthday the year before was two weeks after I found out my mum was ill. She'd just started chemotherapy and was very tired. During the afternoon she had a sleep, and my best friend and her little boy came round. He was ill at the time though, so we went to the park because we were worried about my mum's immune system in case she caught something.
In effect, the last time we had a birthday without cancer trying to destroy things (although our 21st birthday was a very happy occasion and we had a lovely time with our family, my mummy included) was when we turned 20 in 2009. And even that was 3 months after losing my nan to cancer.
That is slightly besides the point though. What I am struggling with at the moment is becoming a different age. It sounds silly maybe. It's not possible to change this, we will become a different age whether we like it or not (I think we'd be joining a queue of very happy people if there was a way to stop ourselves growing older!). We're just one day older anyway. It makes no difference, nothing will have changed since the day before.
But it does mean something. Whether or not it is rational, I want to hang on to everything the way it was when my mummy was here. We were 22 when my mum died, and therefore I want to be 22 forever. I don't want to be 23 because my mum won't be here to see me be 23. The same as New Year - I didn't want it to be 2012 because my mum was not here in 2012, and she was here in 2011. I'm not ready to move on yet. I need things to be the same. I can't bear to grow older, feeling as though I should be dealing with this 'like an adult'. I barely had the chance to learn to be an adult before the cancer took over our lives, and from that point onwards I was my mummy's little girl only. I was strong for her, I was there for her, I held her hand throughout everything, I talked to her, I lay on her bed and cuddled her. And now I'm getting ready to 'celebrate' my 23rd birthday and my mummy won't be here to give me a hug.
I am very lucky. I am a silly sentimental person at heart, and I keep the birthday cards and Christmas cards that my family and best friend give me. So I will hang onto the fact that I have a birthday card with my mum's handwriting in it. I just wish I could get one with her name in this year too.